As technology continues to develop and evolve over time, its impact continues to reach numerous different industries, from manufacturing, fashion, music and everywhere in between. The event planning industry is no exception. Technology is progressively changing the way events are planned and executed, what guests can do on-site, and even how events are evaluated. It can be a differentiating factor from an event that’s dull and disorganized to one that’s cutting edge and well-planned. Incorporating the latest technology trends into your next event can help you stand out from the crowd amidst the sea of music festivals, sporting events and professional conferences taking place this year.
Here’s what to expect in event tech trends for the year ahead:
Augmented Reality (AR) first hit headlines in 2016 when it became popular in gaming apps like Pokemon GO. AR overlays information and virtual objects on real-world scenes in real-time, adding new information or graphics to a pre-existing environment. Like the name suggests, AR “augments” your current surroundings with digital alterations. However, AR hadn’t demonstrated functional use until recently, showing promise for more practical uses in industries outside the gaming sphere. For event planning, AR can positively impact attendee engagement. AR has the power to give turn-by-turn directions to attendees, identify event-goers with face recognition, and even allows attendees to interact with products and people through a hologram. AR can transform how event attendees visualize and communicate with one another and will continue to do so in 2019.
Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, has quickly become a common phenomenon in the events industry. RFID technology can replace traditional ticketing and payment methods, as it’s often embedded into wristbands or tickets. In summer 2018’s event season, we started to see RFID utilized for other aspects of event management, like payment opportunities, credential information, and tailored event access. RFID provides a sense of ease in almost any situation it’s been used in so far, and event managers will become reliant on the tool for this reason. Though a seemingly simple modification in managing your event, RFID systems have the power to speed up admission, minimize costs, and collect significant amounts of data on attendees. Event managers have yet to maximize the real-time information that allots access to attendee patterns and preferences, detailing guests’ ages, emails, purchasing habits, length of stay, hotspots, traffic flow and even population segmentations. This is where RFID is expected to go in 2019. It’s adaptable to a number of functions, which is why opportunities with RFID are truly limitless.
Online Event Platforms
Technological advances for planning tools are increasingly working toward the benefit of the event planner. With event planning rated as the fifth most stressful job in 2017, it’s about time that technology catches up with the anxieties and burdens of organizers. Event planners are far too familiar with logging in and out of systems, importing and exporting data, and trying to make sense of systems that were not designed to work together efficiently, or at all. Not to mention, working with a large staff or team of volunteers can be difficult for event planners to handle on their own. Online tools, like InitLive, make collaboration throughout the day of the event much more seamless and less stressful, allowing event planners to focus on running a successful event. Using the right online tools can facilitate smooth communication within an event’s team, from each step of the planning process and throughout the event’s activities.
Drones have developed a wide spectrum of capabilities over the past few years. With a wide array of potential functions, drones are impactful to a number of different industries, including event planning. In fact, the Federal Aviation Administration predicts that up to 7 million drones will be flying by 2020. Despite their many uses, many event planners have yet to realize their opportunity outside of taking photos and videos. Throughout 2019, it’s predicted that drones will take on a more functional role in events, beyond photography. No matter the scope of your event, whether it be a corporate or social affair, drones can alleviate a great deal of logistical concerns, like providing WiFi hotspots or assisting event security.
For event managers looking to become industry innovators, it’s important to take a close look at the above event technology trends and incorporate them in your next event. Have your own prediction about event tech trends? Let us know!